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BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7496.870 (Published 14 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:870
  1. Harvey Marcovitch, BMJ syndication editor (h.marcovitch@btinternet.com)

    Patients use rural A&E departments appropriately

    More than 9 out of 10 “walking wounded” who attended four rural Welsh accident and emergency departments did so for conditions with recent acute onset or exacerbation. Only 6% had a chronic condition. Overwhelmingly, patients used their own transport; only three travelled by ambulance—all at a general practitioner's suggestion. The main reason for attending was that the GP service could not meet their needs. Most patients were content with their care, the determining feature of discontent being a doctor seen as rude, abrupt, or unsympathetic. The authors conclude that stories of unreasonable patient behaviour or expectations have the status of an “urban legend.”

    Emerg Med J 2005;22: 165-170

    Smokers are unrealistic about their risks

    Current smokers incorrectly judge their own risk of lung cancer as lower than that of other smokers …

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